WVVA Hometown Hero fights for domestic violence victims

Patricia Daniels says she started working with the non-profit as a volunteer 36 years ago, when...
Patricia Daniels says she started working with the non-profit as a volunteer 36 years ago, when she was relocating from Ohio to the Mountain State.
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 6:24 PM EST
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WELCH, W.Va (WVVA) - Heroes by definition save people from all manners of misery and danger and the latest WVVA Hometown hero does both and even saves lives. 66-year-old Patricia Daniels is currently the court advocate and director of S.A.F.E, an acronym for Stop Abusive Family Environments. S.A.F.E. serves Mercer, Wyoming and McDowell counties.

Daniels says she started working with the non-profit as a volunteer 36 years ago, when she was relocating from Ohio to the Mountain State.

“...One day I was at church down in West Virginia, and the lady who was coordinating everything at SAFE at that time... came to our church, and she did a presentation. And to me, it was a calling. It was my calling to step out and to help people.” Daniels said.

She adds she decided to help others after watching her mother help herself, long before there was an organization like S.A.F.E..

”I got my training wheels as a child., In a home where I had a father that abused my mother and my brother and he drank a lot, so I learned what it was like to be a child behind bedroom doors, hearing all the screaming and hollering,” she said while fighting back tears, choking up as she continued, " and wondering if your mom is going to be alive the next day,” Dainiels said, her voice cracking from the emotion of the painful memory.

Now, Daniels works all hours to do what she has to for the people she serves because she says she knows time works against the victims of domestic abuse, “And just knowing the end result is saving lives. That’s what we are, that’s what our goal is. You know it’s not so much of, you know, who done what to who, but it’s saving lives at the end. It’s seeing people happy and released from bondage. Sometimes years of bondage is. Generations. This is something that goes from generation to generation, and if they don’t see the need to stop, for the victim to stop, then she is going to just see it go on and on and on,” said Daniels.

It’s the assistance Daniels provides that led a coworker to email a submission to hometownhero@wvva.com.

Barbara Osborne says she was actually a client in the early 2000s when she first met Patricia Daniels. Daniels helped Osborne walk away from her abuser. Daniels had witnessed that journey in her own childhood and Osborne says Daniels’ compassion for the victim is undeniable, “Exactly! I have walked a mile, and when I walked the mile Pat was the one that held my hand as I walked it,” Osborne said, adding her meeting Daniels is one of the best things that ever happened in her life, “She makes me want to be a better person. People like that are rare and she is, She’s rare. She’s wonderful,” Osborne said.

In her time with S.A.F.E, Daniels has helped countless victims of domestic abuse break the cycle of violence. She says she’s seen the success stories firsthand when she least expects to, “I have been in stores before, and been broadsided by somebody, a little child, just coming up and grabbing me around my waist, and hugging me, and saying, thank you. Or seeing the victims, years later, and telling me, seeing the smiles on their face and telling me how much they appreciated what we have done for them and that they couldn’t have done it. They couldn’t have went through the court systems and the things that they went through without the support from an advocate,” Daniels said with a sense of pride.

The 66-year-old advocate says she never loses sight of what’s at stake as she helps her clients begin the process of turning the page and closing the violent chapter in their lives. Daniels’ message to those whom she helps: “You’ve got to know who you are. Don’t let life define who you are. But to go forward, not to look back, but to move forward and take those things that you have been through and use them to help other people.” Daniels said with conviction.

In addition to the fact Daniels’ work saves lives, it’s also her ability to help others, as well as guiding them to help themselves, are just two of the qualities among many that make Patricia Daniels a WVVA Hometown Hero.